Information Technology in Auditing and Assurance

A. Facts

  • We cannot deny the fact that the current COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to change ways of doing their business.
  • The companies are more concerned about their employee’s safety while upholding their social responsibility to the community and partners.

B. What are Virtual Audits?

  • Virtual audits are electronic audits, done paperless without any face to face interaction between the Government and Industry. All the data are exchanged in electronic formats such as MS Excel, MS Word, PDF Files, and EDI Files.
  • The virtual audits techniques are akin to those used in person but, for example, you can share files by way of Google drive, email, and cloud sharing.
  • Conducting of virtual audit does not mean that all the work must be performed off-site; some of the works are undertaken on-site too. E-auditing usually means that, if possible, the auditing activities will be arranged to be conducted away from the auditee’s location.

C. What is the Process to Conduct Virtual Audit?

  • Preparation for a virtual audit is essential to get a successful outcome. The auditor must request for all the required information from the auditee that must be submitted before starting the virtual audit. These can include quality manuals, organisational charts, SOPs, etc.
  • The audits to be performed can be divided into two sections with significant intervals having enough duration for the auditee to collect and upload the documents that are requested during the audit in the shared drive.
  • The closing meeting must be held as usual but by way of the tool selected for video conferencing. The auditor must make sure that this meeting has been planned and scheduled ahead of time with the proper invitees.

D. Benefits of Virtual Audit

  • Time and Cost-Efficient: Many of the data is accessible from anywhere, such as Cloud Portal.
  • Avoids Travelling to Different Locations: Some locations for conducting an audit can be challenging to access for various reasons.
  • Avoids Unnecessary delays

E. Hurdles of Virtual Audit

  • Organizations can face challenges with logistics. Sometimes the network connections are not reliable.
  • Other issues that are related while performing remote audits /virtual audits include the process owners who become unavailable due to some scheduled meeting, or even lack of attention from the auditees.
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